This Article examines six court-sponsored programs designed to encourage the use of mediation to resolve probate disputes in five jurisdictions: Texas, Florida, Georgia, California (Los Angeles and San Francisco), and Hawaii. Some of the programs are part of larger state-run programs designed to encourage the mediation of a variety of disputes, but all were studied in terms of their specific application to probate disputes. In discussing each of the programs, this article focuses on the extent to which courts and practitioners either have addressed or proven false the suggested impediments to the use of mediation in resolving probate disputes.
Part II of this Article provides a general description of mediation. It discusses the role of mediation in our current dispute resolution system and describes the mediation process. Part III then describes the six court-sponsored programs designed to encourage the use of mediation in probate disputes and offers attorney feedback with respect to each program. Finally, Part IV examines common issues that arise in developing court-sponsored programs designed to encourage the use of mediation in probate disputes.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/ray_madoff/13/